College Site approved by committee

Ashford Borough Council’s Planning Committee voted to approve the reserved matters planning application to build 160 dwellings on the Ashford College site in Jemmett Road last night (17 May).

Proposals for redevelopment of the site were first produced 10 years ago in tandem with a plan to relocate the college to a new campus in Victoria Road. At that that time an application for 241 houses was permitted by the Council. Lack of funding led to the college not being able to relocate.

The college sought to renew the application in 2011, this time with proposals to relocate to the site now being constructed in Elwick Road. The Council asked for the proposals to be amended to comply with their Residential Space standards which resulted in the number of dwellings being limited to 154. Although the Planning Committee decided to allow the development, permission was only granted in December 2016 when the College signed the Section 106 agreement.

Although supporting the proposals, Bob Shrubb, Chair of  South Ashford Community Forum, spoke to express concerns regarding traffic, parking and the inclusion of a four storey block of apartments, contrary to a condition on permission granted under the outlline application. The planning officer noted that traffic matters had been dealt with under the outline application and could not be revisited. She said that Kent County Council, as highways authority had accepted the parking proposal based on a survey carried out for the applicant. A councillor said that taller buildings should be expected in “Town Centre” locations.

The reserved matters application is case reference 17/00354/AS posted in our Planning notices on 14 March 2017 

The outline application is case reference 11/00405/AS posted on  10 December 2016

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